There has been a real buzz of late around shipping container homes. What are shipping container homes, what are the pros and cons of shipping container homes and more specifically, how do shipping container homes compare to modular homes or transportable homes? Read on and hopefully, I’ll be able to shed some light on the subject.
Now I think we have all seen the metal shipping containers being moved all over cities and ports for the safe and dry transportation of goods. Once their useful life as a shipping container comes to an end they are sold for multiple uses, most commonly as a cheap alternative to a shed.
In recent times, their use has evolved into an alternate dwelling for some pod modular homes builders. Due to the fact that they are a steel box and relatively light weight, they can offer a fast solution to the bulk structure which can form an attractive alternative to traditional construction.
Of course, container homes have its detriments as well as its advantages. Shipping container modules are quite narrow. Shipping containers come in standard sizes of approximately 2.4 metres wide and lengths of 6 metres or 12 metres. Considering the need to insulate the metal box to be liveable through our Aussie summers and winters, this can reduce the useful area available. A single container is too narrow and a double, joined in the middle, too wide to get a really efficient layout. Not to mention the fact that some councils may be quite prickly to the idea.
The alternative, of course, is traditional modular construction where the module sizes are considerably larger and already possess a large amount of the required insulation to meet the strict 6 star energy requirements now required. The timber framing offers great thermal value too. There is also much more choice for homeowners in regards to customising their modular homes to find the best individual design to suit their lifestyle.
The larger modular units of prefabricated homes and relocatable homes are more human scaled and consequently will be more comfortable. Modular homes are certainly more architecturally pleasing than shipping container homes. I have often noted that shipping containers are designed for freight and modular homes are designed for people.